He refused to budge.
I expected the first morning after Thanksgiving break to be a little rough. So when my son Micah groaned and rolled over after the alarm clock went off, I wasn’t surprised.
But I also wasn’t going to nag. That has been my MO for years – badger, beg and/or plead and, if all else fails, yell. It’s been working brilliantly for the past eight-and-half years. Everyone leaves the house frustrated and late. Yep. It’s been working like a dream.
Despite its fabulous success, I decided this morning I was going to take a new approach. Instead of turning into Cruella de Vil, I did nothing.
When breakfast was ready, I went in and calmly told him. He didn’t move.
I heard the snooze button go off several times, but I didn’t react. I did laundry, unloaded the dishwasher and kept my cool.
When 7:40 a.m. rolled around (the time we’re supposed to leave), I went into his room and informed him that it was time to leave.
Micah: What?! Why didn’t you wake me?! I’ve gotta eat breakfast!
Me: Nope. I threw away your breakfast away about 15 minutes ago. There’s no time to eat.
Micah: What?! I want breakfast!
Micah gets up, gets dressed, but the scowl never leaves his sleepy face.
He then flops on the couch.
Me: Okay, let’s go.
Micah: I’m not going to school.
Me: Yes, you are. We’re leaving.
Me: Is there anything wrong? Is someone at school picking on you?
Micah: No. I’m just not going.
Now, this particular scenario (refusing to go) doesn’t happen often. But in the past, I would have come a little unglued. Threatened and lectured.
But this is New Melinda. That’s not the way I roll anymore.
Me: Well, Micah, I’m actually glad you’re not going to school today. By the end of the day, I’m going to have the cleanest house on the block!
Micah: What do you mean?!
Me: If you’re going to stay home, you’ll have lots of time to help me out around here. I’ll make quite a list for you. We’ll start with weeding … (the most hated job in the Means house).
But, still, he wouldn’t budge.
Me: And all the work you’ll be missing at school? I’ll just tell your teacher she can just give you zeros for the day.
Micah: You’d really do that?
Me: I really would.
Micah: Okay. Sigh. I’ll go to school.
Before we left, I gave him a note to give to the office staff that explained why he was late: ("Micah would not get up this morning. Whatever consequences you think are necessary are fine by me.")
Micah: Please don’t make me give the note!
Me: You’re giving the note.
When I dropped him off, I left him with these words: “Tomorrow is a new day. I know you will make wiser choices tomorrow.” (Which he did by the way … the last two mornings have been heavenly!)
I am so glad that God’s mercies are new to me every morning. That no matter what parenting mistakes that I’ve made in the past (see “badgering, begging, pleading and yelling” above), that God always gives me the grace and opportunity to change. No condemnation. No "You should have known better."
And, more than that, I can trust that when I’m willing to change He can turn even something as miserable as my mornings into something glorious.
The faithful love of the Lord never ends! His mercies never cease. Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning. Lamentations 3:22-23 (NLT)